「ほんのわずかなやる気」 (Hon’no wazukana yaruki)
“Just the Slightest Bit of Motivation”
While we do get more basic character background behind Glenn, Sisti, Lumia, and Cecilia, it’s becoming more transparent that the show has much more in common with it’s contemporaries in embracing and questioning the role of magic than it’d like to admit. Glenn does begin his first lesson of the day on a different page by telling students how wonderful magic is at murder, yet within the span of an episode, he reverses the half-assing he’s done up to this point by embracing magic in a goofy, non-conventional manner. Sure, it has to do with him discovering that he inspired Lumia to use magic productively after he saved her from assassins in the past, but if the first episode doesn’t set the tone correctly for him to change his mind so soon. It would’ve made more sense to foreshadow the extent of Glenn’s powers and history this way much earlier.
The story-telling in this episode operates on convenience. Lumia and Glenn just so happen to not remember a moment significant to the both of them. Glenn reverses his idea on denying his students magic education this quickly so that we can see how overpowered Glenn really is. Of course, Lumia happens to be a princess in deep trouble with mage assassins. Sisti happens to make a big enough impression with this episode’s jobbers to get her shoved in a room where the show can use the threat of rape as a tool for suspense, complete with fanservice shots of her clothes being slowly peeled off, until Glenn makes it right before anything else is removed. It is a limitation that isn’t unique to light novels, but since a typical light novel aims to get the train rolling as quickly as possible, they are trappings of the genre that show RokuAka‘s true colors.
That’s not to say that it wasn’t a good episode; it cleared up character details that I felt were missing from the first one. It helped expand on why Sisti is as deeply passionate as she is about magic with her desire to live out her grandfather’s will to reach a sky castle, we learn about Lumia’s backstory and how Glenn starts to see himself in her, and Cecilia’s role in Glenn’s life is explained in more detail as a professor who lets Glenn crash at her place. It was a relief to see Glenn start to warm up, and at least take Lumia’s passion and comments into consideration. If the anime is becoming more open about its intentions about being a straightforward fantasy academy light novel, it’s going about it in the right direction. That is, if they could cut down on the molesters.